Blogs

  • On the Verge of Chaos

    “Great powers and empires are, I would suggest, complex systems, made up of a very large number of interacting components that are asymmetrically organized, which means their construction more resembles a termite hill than an Egyptian pyramid. They operate somewhere between order and disorder – on “the edge of chaos,” in the phrase of the computer scientist Christopher Langton. Such systems can appear to operate quite stably for some time; they seem to be in equilibrium but are, in fact, constantly adapting. But there comes a moment when complex systems “go critical.” A very small trigger can set off a “phase transition” from a benign equilibrium to a crisis – a single grain of sand causes a whole pile to collapse, or a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon and brings about a hurricane in southeastern England.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 11-25-2014
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  • Will Congress Fight Obama’s Immigration Power Grab?

    President Obama is expected to announce, in a prime-time speech tonight, his decision to halt deportation plans (read: amnesty) for apprx. five million immigrants who came into this country illegally. Despite the landslide midterm election results, which...
  • Lack Of Fundamentals In Currencies Drives Chuck Crazy!

    In This Issue.

    * Singapore 3rd QTR GDP gets revised up!.

    * Norway's GDP forecasts get revised upward! .

    * The Data Cupboard is open for business today!.

    * Platinum is best performer overnight!.

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    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 11-25-2014
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  • Take Back the Retirement You Dreamed of at 40

    By Dennis Miller Is it even possible today to retire rich? The short answer is “yes.” We all know people who have done just that. Watching your neighbors Bob and Betty Rich live the good life well into their 90s only tells you it’s possible...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 11-25-2014
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  • Median Household Income Down Last 15 Years - Why?

    One of the most puzzling questions in economics today is why did median household income peak in 1999 and has yet to recover? Most analysts cite the fact that we had two serious recessions in the space of a decade, including the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

    While the Great Recession ended in June 2009, real median household income (adjusted for inflation) remains well below the peak of around $57,000 in 1999 and has been below $52,000 in each of the last three years. The question is, why?

    The standard answers, especially among progressives, are: 1) the sluggish economic recovery; 2) growing income inequality; 3) the failure to raise the minimum wage; 4) globalization and outsourcing; 5) corporate greed; and other variations of economic pessimism.

    However, there are some other very obvious, but mostly overlooked, factors that can help explain why median household income has declined over the last 15 years that have nothing to do with economic stagnation. The fact is that there have been significant demographic changes in the composition of US households.

    Economists Mark Perry and Alex Pollock, who also are contributors at the American Enterprise Institute, offered a very interesting analysis on median household income last week, and I will summarize their latest work for you today. I think you'll be surprised.

    Also, we'll look at the reasons why the marriage rate in the US is now at a 93-year low, according to the Census Bureau. The marriage rate for those 18 and older has fallen to a new low of only 50.3%, down from the peak of 72.2% in 1960.  And finally, we'll end with an interesting article from Larry Kudlow on the subject of marriage.

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    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 11-25-2014
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  • The Big, Bold and Ugly

    Since July of 2014 the big cap stocks have continued to make new highs as investors dump more and more money into the stock market. Overall bullishness on the stock market is now at extremely high levels which typically happen before a major stock market...
  • A German IFO Surprise!

    In This Issue.

    * Euro rebounds after overnight selloff.

    * Krone and ruble.. a strange couple.

    * Data to dominate Tuesday & Wednesday.

    * SNB doesn't want to be weakened.

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    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 11-24-2014
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  • Notes on Russia

    For today’s Outside the Box we have two pieces that deliver deeper insights into the situation with Russia and Putin. The first is from my good friend Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group and author of Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World. You probably caught my mention of Ian’s presentation at the institutional fund manager conference where we both spoke last weekend. He had some unsettling things to say about Russia; and so when he followed up with an email to me on Monday, I asked if he’d let me share the section on Russia with you. Understand, Ian is connected, and so what you’re about to be treated to here is analysis from way inside. (He’ll be presenting at our Strategic Investment Conference again next April, too.)

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 11-21-2014
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  • Global Economy Worsening, But America is on Top

    With President Obama making controversial moves on several fronts this month, it is tempting to go all politics this week. The president is threatening to grant defacto amnesty to five or six million illegal aliens, via Executive Order, even though he knows this is unpopular among the American people. It’s as if he’s in full denial regarding the landslide midterm election results.

    In addition, he signed a controversial climate deal with China that will hurt the US economy and allows China to continue building more coal-fired power plants and increase emissions annually until 2030. Obama and the media hailed it as one of his landmark accomplishments. It wasn’t.

    At the Asian summit he attended last week, Mr. Obama pledged to give $3 billion of US taxpayer money to emerging countries to help them work toward clean energy and tackle climate change. Hopefully, Congress will block that pledge.

    And if you missed it, Obama announced last week that he wants the federal government to regulate the Internet. That would be a disaster! More details as we go along today.

    But rather than devote the entire E-Letter to politics, let’s start with a new report on the slowing global economy. According to the latest survey from Bloomberg, the global economy is in the worst position in two years. Fears of deflation are growing in Europe and elsewhere.

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    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 11-18-2014
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  • What If Silicon Valley Moved to Puerto Rico?

    By Gerald Nowotny The tax benefits of Puerto Rican residency gained some attention and notoriety when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson went to Puerto Rico to “kick the tires.” He did not become a Puerto Rican resident (not yet, at least...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 11-17-2014
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  • The Last Argument of Central Banks

    For a central banker, deflation is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Death, Famine, Disease, and Deflation. (We will address later in this letter why War, in the form of a currency war, is not in a central banker’s Apocalypse mix.) It is helpful to understand that, before a person is allowed to join the staff or board of a central bank, he or she is taken into a back room and given DNA replacement therapy, inserting a gene that is viscerally opposed to deflation. Of course, in fairness, it must be noted that central bankers don’t like high inflation, either (although, looking around the world, we see that the definition of high inflation can vary). In the developed world, 2% inflation seems to be the common goal. You wouldn’t think that 2% a year is a significant change in the overall price structure, but the panic among economists that would ensue with a 2% price deflation would border on hysteria.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 11-17-2014
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  • The Return of the Dollar

    Two years ago, my friend Mohamed El-Erian and I were on the stage at my Strategic Investment Conference. Naturally we were discussing currencies in the global economy, and I asked him about currency wars. He smiled and said to me, “John, we don’t talk about currency wars in polite circles. More like currency disagreements” (or some word to that effect).

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 11-17-2014
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  • What Midterm Election Results Mean for the Fed

    One likely result of the GOP sweep of the midterm elections on November 4 is increased scrutiny of the Federal Reserve from the new Republican majority in both chambers of Congress. Richard Shelby (R-AL), who has at times been critical of the Fed, is...
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  • Surprise! (NOT!) Japan Reenters A Recession.

    In This Issue.

    * U.S. Retail Sales disappoint, reversing dollar trade.

    * Sydney Australia is named a renminbi hub!

    * WGC says India is #1 Gold Consumer again.

    * U.S. Data Cupboard returns this week!

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    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 11-17-2014
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  • Preventing Taxpaying Milk Cows from Seeking Greener Pastures

    By Nick Giambruno It’s undeniable that the window of opportunity is getting smaller… especially when you connect all the dots and see the big picture. To help connect those dots, it’s important to understand the things that make being...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 11-14-2014
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